Claymore Fan Fiction / Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ A Red Dawn ❯ The Abyss Deepens ( Chapter 17 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A/N : Okay, I've actually updated, so applause please. You have no idea how difficult this chapter was for me to write. The moment my computer cord snap, I had an absolute dismal time just to keep it together long enough to get my files off... Only to realize that I keep Red Dawn separate from my other Naruto's and in my Claymore stash...
So yeah, I have no clue if I actually began this chapter or not originally. To make things harder on myself I didn't even have my notes! I had to try and remember, with my scattered memory, what I wanted to do in the next few chapters and hoped it was remotely close to my directional notes.
In the end, I believe I'm close to it but it doesn't matter too much and I'll just work around it for this chapter is out... And it is staying.
So I hope you enjoy, The Abyss Deepens.
No matter where he went, no matter what he saw. Every town was the same. How they lived and what jobs resided in the area may differed, but the mood in the towns and how everyone acted was the same.
Each and every person was afraid of the next person that came across them. No one knew who would become the next Yoma and devour them, their family and neighbors.
The fear was rational. Yoma appeared sometimes as complete strangers entering the town to feast on... And sometimes they snuck in and devoured someone within the town, taking their skin and wearing it to blend in.
And no matter how many seemed to be killed by the warriors of the organization, their numbers hardly ever seem to decline. And that left only two options and both were unsettling.
The first would be that Yoma quickly repopulated and kept their numbers high in response to how many of them actually survived, much like that of a rabbit. Hardly something anyone wanted to think about as then it would be nigh impossible to ever eliminate every single Yoma without something utterly drastic that would most likely wipe out the human population of the island as well.
He, however, thought that was unlikely. Yoma didn't really seem to be the type to repopulate quickly from what he saw. While they enjoyed the fleshes of a woman, he was quite sure they couldn't get a human woman pregnant...
Add in the fact that he had not once seen a female Yoma outside of the Claymores... And well he found the theory that Yoma used captured warriors to breed with was rather farfetched. He wasn't even sure warriors could reproduce thanks to their Yoma blood.
The second, and more likely even if the ideal was repulsing and borderline insane, was that the organization was creating the Yoma. There was a high chance of this since from what he noted, especially when he was sensing within Sage Form, was that a high density of the Yoma population was found in central, heading to the east.
This didn't make any sense to Naruto. Why would the Yoma's strongest population be so close to where their one natural predator was created? Yoma were intelligent enough, at least by certain standards, to realize this and spread their population throughout the North, West and South to make it difficult to be hunted.
So what reason for this was there? They obviously were spreading out, but the population in the Central East seemed to stay fairly consistent.
That's where the validation of the organization creating the Yoma seemed to be more plausible. He knew the Yoma were spreading out but their numbers seemed to dwindle once they left camp, especially when they head to the South, courtesy of Naruto and the others.
So only having the North and West to go to... It was quite shocking that their numbers here were about equal to what they always were. And that either meant they were actually dropping in population or...
'An army is being gathered... A weak one but nonetheless an army.' Naruto mentally groaned at this thought before shaking his head, heading through the village.
He had been tracking a warrior, a high ranking warrior if her Yoki capacity had anything to say about it. She hadn't noticed him, mostly attributed to being able to conceal his chakra and Kyuubi's Yoki to the point that only Teresa could sense him without much difficulty. However she knew what she was looking for...
No one else would bother twice about his signature, unless hunting down the weakest of Yoma that even a human could slay was their priority.
He still found it interesting that this short haired warrior was heading towards three other signatures, obviously warriors. So that meant she was most likely going to be the leader of this little group to make a transaction with Riful... Or just be turned or brutalized by her and her lover.
Either way, they seemed to know where she was located at... Or at least the organization had a lock on her position, a frightening thought since Galatea's whereabouts were currently unknown. And while he could sense the Witch's position, though he'd credit her for hiding her signature quite well, it just made him wonder further what the organization was going to do.
Bumping up against her, moving through the street, he immediately apologize. "I'm sorry miss..."
"It's no trouble... Continue on." The short haired Claymore responded, sensing nothing out of the ordinary with the man.
Except... His signature was slightly off. There was a weird sense she got as the man walked by her and she almost wanted to ask what it was. But turning back he was nowhere to be seen, lost in the crowd of people.
Frowning, swearing she had sensed the slightest amount of yoki, the warrior shook her head. It was of no problem to her. A yoma with that pitiful amount of yoki was hardly a threat to anyone but a small child. Sure, he could probably make a surprise kill or two but it wasn't her problem for now.
She would deal with it when she got back from her Awakened Hunt.
Grinning from above as he watched her from the roof tops, Naruto activated a seal on his ear and heard the other three welcome their comrade as the high ranked warrior entered their temporary headquarters for the operation. "Damn it's good to be a ninja... They never expect a thing."
"Now let's see what you four are getting into..." Naruto mumbled before concentrating on his current objective.
Standing within one of her many gardens, gazing at the fruit her darling trees were putting out, Luceila sighed. Leaving this land would be quite difficult. She had grown attached to it and all of her creations.
Yet she would leave when the time became known. This land was not what her lover cared for, though he did his best to help. He wanted to be home and she would grant him that. He still had things to do there, things left unfinished. While she... Done everything she wanted, albeit her lover, multiple times and began to find it was a boring routine...
She hated being in a routine, no more so then when it had began to dull for her. At least as a Claymore her routine wasn't boring, she had to admit. Be able to kill and kill often it did have its upsides.
Then again, she would admit that she was a cold hearted psycho bitch in battle and just loved to fight... A trait she found that Naruto possessed, outside of being a complete psychopath in battle.
They both loved the thrill of battle. The exhilaration. The tension. The blood, sweat and tears. Their bodies screamed at them to continue, to keep fighting and let the sensation continue. It was almost like making ravenous, hardcore love...
Not that she had done that ever since Naruto literally dropped into her life... Though that would be made up for soon enough.
She would make sure of that.
"About time... I've been waiting a while for you... Rubel." Luciela stated without bothering to look behind her.
"Hmp, your senses are sharp as ever. It looks like they haven't dulled with him around." The man in black and a rimmed hat responded, an eerie grin touching his lips.
"They never have... If anything he has sharpened them. " Luciela countered with a slight growl before turning and gazing towards the man. "Now what do you know, Rubel? I need information and fast before this war erupts into a three front affair."
"That would be bad for all involved..." Rubel admitted before wiping his smile from his face and pocketing his hands. "However what I offer to you will not be what you want to hear... The organization is already amounting a force to raid the South while preparing the warriors to meet eventual assault coming from the North."
"This I know of... But what can I expect of the forces being gathered against me. It is unlikely they'll be sending warriors after me since the majority is gathering in the North." Luciela hissed as he was dancing around what she wanted to know.
Tipping his hat over his eyes and shaking his head, Rubel smirked beneath the shadow of the hat. "Oh it won't be something you can't handle... Just a massive amount of recently created Yoma and awakened males. ...Well there are the other things."
"What other things, Rubel?!" Luciela growled while her eyes glittered a silver tent, tired of this man for he always played around like this.
Shrugging his shoulders, Rubel sighed due to his lack of information on that particular subject. "That I'll let you find out on your own since even I don't know about that man's projects. All I know is that they shipped a few bodies of dead Awakens to his lab and he's been found around the graves of dead warriors."
"Dae's involved?!" Luciela went rigid after hissing that man's name, knowing just what he did and knew how dangerous anything he worked on could be. "Shit! This could be bad with him aiding their forces."
Rubel nodded before tipping the brim of his hat back up to gaze into her eyes. "That we both know... However you will have to be ready for whatever horrid creation that he sends your way. We both want the same thing, even if our reasons are different. I would hate to see you go by the wayside... I still care for every warrior that was under my watch."
"You never acted like it." Luciela deeply frowned at this declaration and crossed her arms over her chest.
"I'm helping you, am I not?" Rubel countered with a smile and turned, ready to leave for he still had other things to do.
Not going to deny that, Luciela knew her informant had to leave but there was one last thing she needed to know. "Naruto sensed something in the east a few days ago... But something tells me the organization isn't what caused his sudden raise in worry."
Thinking for a moment, wondering just what it was that the Abyssal Warrior had sensed, Rubel snapped his finger. "Oh yes... It must be that."
Instead of jumping down Rubel's throat for pausing a few moments after his comment, Luciela waited for him to speak. "While I'm not too sure what happened... We do know that Number Ten caught an odd signature a few days ago before sensing the Number Four's signature vanish."
"Ophelia was killed? That is an anomaly on its own since a five ranked warrior dying without another ranked warrior slaying them or a former single digit awakened doing the job." Luciela stated in a puzzled manner, knowing the current warriors were still on par with those of the previous generations.
For their position at the very least.
"Normally yes... But this was what made it odd... It was an immense yoki signature that was felt by Number Ten. ...Not unlike the yoki that the Abyssal Warrior can wield." Rubel smirked as he gazed back at Luciela to see her reaction.
Turning rigid once more at the mere thought another yoki like that of the fox within Naruto had shown it's face, Luciela grimaced realizing Teresa and Irene had already left and this could get ugly. "Great... Just as it seems like it is time to strike..."
"You're telling me... But this could be in your favor." Rubel shrugged yet again before turning and started to walk, giving her a small wave and one last piece of advice. "Isn't there those who are looking for him?"
Luciela's eyes snapped wide open. Of course there would be those looking for Naruto from his old land. There would be no way that his organization would just abandon him. He was the King and they needed him to succeed in their plans.
But there was always the off chance it was someone else looking for him, to put this rebellion of his out of its misery.
Growling since this was only enough to draw upon conclusions, but not enough to make any sure decision, Luciela turned and made her way back to her current hideaway. She would have to get this information to Naruto soon and let him decipher what this could be...
And then she would prepare for whatever it was Dae would be sending her way...
Groaning as he laid back in the room he rented the day before, Naruto wanted to smash his head against the wall. But the wall would crumble before his true objective could be achieved and would just leave him with a massive headache.
And since he already had one, a real one wouldn't help in the slightest.
"Dammit... Those girls didn't know a thing. They organization is sending them in there to be slaughtered. But why?" Naruto groaned out while listening to his seal, noting the four were ready and walking in the streets again if the noises in the background were accurate.
Once again the blonde ninja was left confused. The organization was starting to gradually send its forces to the North to prepare for the eventual invasion from Isley. However knowing tactics and knowing a little about the man, he was going to use his forces to distract both the organization and Riful from his true purpose and come straight to the South himself, Priscilla at his side.
And if that was the approach he was going for, it was working.
Now, how the organization was responding set off alarms. It was almost as if they didn't care and were just gauging what their opponents were capable of. But that was fool hearty with five massive powers in play...
But that meant if they were being this reckless, it meant they had a fall back plan locked away in their vaults and he hardly thought it was Alicia and Beth. They may have mastered their connection but they were still vulnerable and it all came down to Beth being able to stay out of harms way.
Unlikely with someone of an Abyssal's battle prowess facing them.
However the lack of overall information he could get from what happened within the organization was insignificant at best. Very few were ever allowed to know everything that went on within their premises. The only ones that did never left or spoke a word to another about what they knew.
Overall it made it rather difficult to get information without busting in, capturing one of the heads and interrogating them.
And that wasn't an option since at that time whatever was in the vaults would be released to stop their attacker and eliminate the threat of valuable information falling into the wrong hands.
Naruto had to give these guys credit. They operated on a far more efficient level then most hidden villages at that particular aspect. The other villages would love to figure out the organization’s secrets on that alone and apply it to their village.
Sighing since it was time to get up and follow the Awakened Hunt, not that it was going to succeed, he slipped his Akatsuki cloak on. As he exited and paid his remaining tab to the owner of the place, a small grin slipped onto his face.
He was going to get to play a role he hadn't in a long time. Not sense the Wave and when he faced off against Gaara.
The hero that came in at the last second and save the day.
Just that alone pumped his mood, making him feel a little chipper than normal, before popping his neck and shoulders. "Well it's time to go recruiting..."
"Riful, here I come."
"Well... This is becoming unproductive as hell!" Teresa complained to her partner, getting tired of scaring the daylights out of any warrior she came across.
She hardly got to speak with them before they fled, realizing they were dealing with Bishou no Teresa and Quicksword Irene. It was kind of annoying really as she didn't want to cut them down, only injuring them, to make them sit down and listen...
However that now was becoming an intriguing possibility more and more after seeing every single warrior had the same reaction.
"Calm down Teresa... You would act in accordance with them seeing a pair of former Number One and Two come across your path if you were a warrior of the organization." Irene tried to reason was the fuming volcano known as Teresa.
But it was like trying to placate a berserker in the mist of a hunt. It just was adding fuel to the fire burning passionately within her. "Ah screw that! We've been at this a few days, track these warriors done and they just turn tail and run for their lives! I'm not just going to go up and decapitate them! They don't even bother with trying to talk with either of us!"
"In all fairness... Didn't Flora have a similar reaction when she ran across you and Naruto?" Irene questioned Teresa, trying to make her see that she was getting worked over by something she had to figure would happen.
It also could be that Teresa was radiating a blood lust around her that screamed 'I'LL CRUSH YOU!'. That probably didn't comfort any of the one's they were trying to talk to.
Twitching, remembering that the only reason Flora didn't run from them was thanks to that earth jutsu Naruto used to trap her in place, Teresa simply glared at her partner and spoke vehemently towards her. "You know I can quite easily break all your teeth, don't you?"
Irene winced at the sheer irritation in Teresa's voice and realized she wasn't helping in the slightest. However she couldn't quite keep her mouth shut as she mumbled to herself. "Geez... I thought Flora took care of your stress before we left."
"OH DAMMIT!" Teresa screamed at Irene, none to please to hear what Irene had muttered, before turning away and blushing. "Just shut up... I've been rather upset for a while if you haven't noticed."
"I've noticed..." Irene spoke after a moments of silence, sighing as she looked down the road they were traveling and noticing a town in the distance.
Knowing that Teresa has sensed a yoki presence within this village they were going to take a look and hope it was a warrior. If a yoma, eliminate it then move. It never hurt to lessen their numbers and helped people there rest at ease even if it was only a brief calm.
"Is it Naruto?" Irene asked after yet another silence reigned for a moment and allowed her to single down her partner's worries.
"Yes." Teresa simply answered in a low whisper, her eyes closing knowing the path that would take her to the city.
Irene frowned. She hadn't expected Teresa to be so forward about her troubles since she always hid them beneath her smile. She acted like nothing bothered her, but in truth there was a vast of things that bothered the former Number One. Yet she always stayed silent about them...
But now she wasn't and that just led her to believe... "You love him, don't you?"
Stopping before opening her eyes and looking up to the sky, Teresa had to tilt her head a little. "In a sense... Yes, I do. But no, I do not love him as Luciela does."
"While I do care for him as person, since he has been a father to Clare and I'm her mother so of course there is going to be an attraction there... And he is a good person and cares for me back... But that isn't what I love. I love what he represents... Hope... Justice... Freedom. He is the em blaze idol of these characteristics in human form." Teresa spoke once she noted Irene stopped and gazed towards her.
"And I will admit, I'm disappointed that I cannot be with such a man... I don't mind that." Teresa honestly answered before sighing. "But at the same time I kind of do. It is just one of those complex things that I don't understand and at times it grates my nerves more than anything else has ever done."
A slight smile made its way on her lips before Irene lightly laughed, catching Teresa's attention. "You know... After all those years of being trained to forget our humanity and become weapons to eradicate Yoma and Awakens... They failed. We are still human. We are what they feared the most for we have the power they granted us but our wills to act on our own accord."
"It is no wonder they are worried... They know what reaction we would have on their warriors and above all else, they want to prevent that." Irene grinned at her fellow partner before motioning her head to the town. "Teresa, let's go and make their fear a reality. Let's help bring them down for what they have done to us and many others like us!"
Almost stunned at Irene's brazen statement, Teresa couldn't help but let her true smile show. With a nod, she agreed and step in stride with her fellow warrior. "Hmp, didn't know you had that in you? They took someone precious from you too."
"My father... My mother... And my brother. And I will avenge them." Irene responded, a fire burning within her eyes. "I will have to thank him for that... He allowed me remember the reason I fought so hard to reach this pinnacle and then surpass it."
Teresa smirked at the former number two, creaking her neck and preparing to make a few warriors sit and listen to what they had to say. "Then let's make them pay in spades... WOAH!"
In an instant both Irene and Teresa had split from where they stood, bolting away in a single bound, to see the ground they stood at suddenly explode into a furious dust cloud.
Drawing their blades, preparing for combat, Teresa and Irene narrowed their eyes. They had hardly sensed the attack before it happened and that was a terrifying thing due to Teresa's sensory. She was distracted however that didn't denote the fact that only being could sneak up onto her on a bad day since she was taking her training seriously once again.
Seeing a form in the dust, Irene sprinted to take care of the threat. However in an instant something odd had happened. The ground below her felt different then it had before. Realizing she had just stepped into a trap, she slashed at the ground below her with her Quicksword before bounding next to Teresa with narrowed eyes.
"Sand... What the hell? What can control sand?" Irene growled in frustration as this was a new one on her, never hearing of anything that could command such an element.
To be fair no one had control of elements before until Naruto arrived, but she put that aside for now as this was serious matter at hand.
Teresa simply nodded and hung her sword down at her side, her grip tightened and ready to strike while looking as if she had dropped her guard. "Just what are you... Only one of you possess yoki and the other has chakra. Who are you?"
"We could ask you the same." A red haired, emerald eye male formed before the two from the sand building before them, next to the crater that had been before by the other.
Teresa's eyes widened in an instant and Irene took a step back at the sight of the man. While the man had plenty of intimidating feature about him, it was none of these that had caught them by surprise.
It was what he wore. A black cloak with various red clouds spread along it.
"Where did you get that cloak?" A female voice echoed and stood out of the dust, her pink hair flaying in the gust of wind that was building while her emerald eyes burned brightly. "Only one person could have given you that... Now where is he?!"
"Where is Uzumaki Naruto?!"
A/N2 : I know, short chapter but this is a development/set-up chapter. The real fun starts next chapter and I hope you all enjoy it when I managed to get it out.
Anyways, not much to say and if you have any questions just drop them to me and I'll see how I can respond or fix them.
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